Volume 50 Number 24
                    Produced: Mon Nov 28  5:32:19 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baal Koray vs Rabbi
         [Jack Gross]
Disclosure of Rabbi's salary
Internet Bans (5)
         [Jonathan Sperling, Gershon Dubin, Michael Kahn,
rubin20@juno.com, S. Wise]
Lakewood and non Yeshivis people
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Mem het lamed
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
TV News (was Internet Ban)
         [Martin Stern]


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 16:04:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Baal Koray vs Rabbi

Regarding Russell J Hendel's post ("RE: Baal Koray vs Rabbi...")

If the issue is whether the letter is sufficiently distorted to lose its
identify as the intended letter, we need a naive opinion and call in the
tinok.  The requirement of "lo chacham v'lo tipesh" is interpreted by
commentators as (a) ability to recognize properly written letters,
coupled with (b) inability to infer the identity of a doubtful letter
from the context of the word (vav vs. yod, in the example of Vayaharog
vs. Yeyhareg).  In other words, the stage where he has been drilled in
aleph bais, but has not yet been taught to read words.

Where the issue is a technical psul (e.g., a break that disconnects an
essential element from the body), the fact that the tinok would ID it as
the intended letter is irrelevant.

Thus, in the case of a break in a vav, where the issue is whether the
remainder of the stem is long enough to make it a vav, or too short so
that it is at best a yod, the procedure (on Shabbos) is to cover the
severed portion, so that it will not influence the arbitrator's
judgment.  We then leave to his judgment whether the remainder is a vav
or not.  (On a weekday, one could correct the error; or erase the
detached portion before calling in the tinok.)

Mishna Berurah does state that a miniscule discontinuity, not
discernable to the casual reader's naked eye, does not render the letter
pasul.  That is a different kind of judgment call, outside the area of
"expertise" of the naif, and the Rav is normally the one to make the


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 04:14:56
Subject: RE: Disclosure of Rabbi's salary

About three years ago, our rabbi's salary was disclosed at a general
membership meeting, apparently for the first time in a number of years,
along with a recommendation for a raise. In all my years of shul
membership in many different shuls, this was the first time I had
experienced this. What followed was even more surprising, however. The
members present were so shocked at how little his salary was, they
rejected the board's recommendation and demanded a greater
increase. This year I noted that his salary was buried within the
overall budget and not disclosed explicitly. So maybe the lesson is that
a middle ground should be tried: In general I think everyone is more
comfortable if the rabbi's salary is not publically announced, but that
every so often (once in 5 years?) a reality check is necessary and the
members should have their say.


From: Jonathan Sperling <sperling@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 22:50:01 -0500
Subject: Internet Bans

Before the discussion gets too far afield, those interested in this
topic should realize that the Lakewood ban specifically provides that
internet use in the home by parents is permitted if "it is l'tzorech
parnasah, and they have received a written Ishur from one of the
designated Rabbonim" (in such cases there are additional guidelines
designed to prevent unintentional access by children).  Who the
designated Rabbonim and whether any of them would actually provide such
an Ishur is beyond my knowledge.

I would be happy to provide a copy of the guidelines, or at least the
version that I received by email, to anyone who emails me off list.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 22:06:28 -0500
Subject: Internet Bans

From: R E Sternglantz <resternglantz@...>

> At least some of these people need Internet access at home in order to
> do their jobs.  Is the ban articulated to allow for this sort of
> (non-entertainment use) access?

Yes, explicitly. However, it requires affirmation by the user's rabbi or
one of several community rabbonim of the need.


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 01:02:57 -0500
Subject: Internet Bans

>I was troubled to hear the latest "decree" coming out of Lakewood --
>that all 43 yeshivos and schools joined to say that basically bans use
>of the Internet at home, and those who violate it, their children may be
>suspended and expelled.
>I am curious to hear opinions on this latest attempt to make the
>non-Yeshiva people feel unwelcome. 

The purpose of the "decree" was in no way meant to "make non yeshivish
people feel unwelcome." Believe me, the types of yeshivas that have
agreed to the ban are not the types of yeshivas non yeshivish people
would sent their kids to to begin with. The purpose of the ban was
twofold. Primarily, it was to deterr people from bringing the Internet
into their homes. Secondarily, it was decided that children with acess
to the Internet posed the danger of being rodfim who could negatively
influence their classmates.

>The "decree" seems the type of things Islamic extremists might do to
>control the private lives of citizens.

Klal Yisroel has a long history of communal takanos. the takanos against
ostentatious weddings that goes back to the days of the Noda Biyehudah
is one that comes to mind.

>The more I hear about Lakewood, the less I like it.

There is a lot to like about Lakewood. I have many friends in Lakewood
who are trully fine people. But Lakewood is the most yeshivisha town in
America. If you don't like yeshivishkeit then its probably not the place
for you. If you are in driving distance then why don't you visit. Then
you could make an informed judgement. Even Hashem "went down" to see
what the Dor Haflaga were up to before he condemned them (See Braishis

From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 08:39:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Internet Bans

In all the controversy re the Lakewood Internet Bans, there has been a
decidedly negative view, written mainly by non-Lakewood people who seem
to have no idea of what these Takonos really entail. There have been two
main criticisms of the Takonos, both seemingly misinformed. The first is
that the Internet is critical for business. Agreed. There is no
restriction at all on Internet in a work place, and even home-based
businesses are allowed Internet, as long as proper safe guards are
followed. The second criticism is that this is just an attempt to keep
"non-yeshiva" people out. Along with a lot of hand wringing about Sinat
Chinum.  This Takona is of course from the same Rabbonim who ordered
every girl school in Lakewood to remain closed until every girl in
Lakewood had a place in a school. Those girls who had no place, were of
course primarily "non-yeshiva" girls. It's quite a jump to then accuse
the same Rabbonim of secretly plotting a way to rid Lakewood of
"non-yeshiva" people. Not fighting to get their children in school would
probably be a lot more effective. In Lakewood it self, there is a lot of
controversy over the ban. But it is pretty well accepted that the point
is to keep children AND THEIR CLASSMATES from the many negative images
available on the internet. All those who are accusing Lakewood of "Sinat
Chinum" with apparently no basis, would do well to look in their own
hearts first!!! What other than Sinat Chinum would lead people to
ascribe motive other that the stated, in face of all evidence to the
Rabbonim of Lakewood.

As an aside, someone wrote "A friend of mine, who learned in Lakewood
and now lives there, couldn't get his son into the yeshiva of his
choice, because his daughter didn't attend Bais Faiga". I fail to see
the relevance of this to the discussion of the Internet ban or the
alleged Lakewood plot to get rid of "non- yeshiva" people. All the
schools in Lakewood are overcrowded.  Which is why schools often give
priority to families which attend their sister schools. So yes, it is
harder to get in to Lakewood Cheder if you send your daughters to
different schools. It doesn't matter if you are or aren't yeshivish.

From: <Smwise3@...> (S. Wise)
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 12:50:48 EST
Subject: Re: Internet Bans

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, based on information a Lakewooder who defends the
ban, the yeshivos agreed to take in only those girls after they didn't
listen to R' Maisyahu Solomon and he traveled to Israel to get R;
Eliashev to force the decree.

If the the bans are as you say, perhaps Lakewood should have been more
careful how this was disseminated.  It made many news media, and
probably shouldn't have unless it was clearly precisely what they had in
mind.  People from Lakewood have expressed displeasure with the
non-Yeshivish encroachment into the community; maybe it isn't the main
reason for the ban on the internet, but that does not resolve the issue
why Lakewooders are not welcoming these non-Yeshivish people.  And I
have heard these same people defending the ban precisely as a way to
filter out the "undesirable element."  You choose to put a different
spin on it, and maybe you;re interpretation is correct.

I won't take issue with the Bais Faige.  Schools are overcrowded and I
guess they need some criteria.  But prove to me some instance in which
the yeshivish community is actually looking to integrate with other frum

BTW, the Internet safeguard I heard was to lock it in a room.  I have
Internet at home; my kids just don't have access and they know they
can't and I get for them whatever research they need. Perhaps you need
to ask yourself what is the real fear?  Obviously, kids bent on getting
access will find it -- maybe at a friend's house or the public library.
But it is interesting that the Internet is deemed evil enough to make
such a ban, when the real problem are the kids, because of their own
personal decisions, maybe looking for the stuff their parents don't want
anyway - and they'll probably find it despite the ban.

S. WIse


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 10:14:19 EST
Subject: Lakewood and non Yeshivis people

I found Yisroel Wise's post on Lakewoood and the attitude toward
non-Yeshivish people he describes quite intriguing.  Mr. Wise ends his
post by asking if anyone could disprove the assertion he makes based on
two vignettes affecting people he personally knows.

To be fair, the burden of proof is on Mr. Wise to prove that the two
cases he is aware of are the rule not the exception.  Mr. Wise claims
that it is a "poorly kept secret...that the Yeshivish community of
Lakewood is not happy with the influx of non-Yeshivish people."  But he
admits that the father involved in one of his two stories "learned in
Lakewood."  While I admit that there can be people who learned in a
Yeshiva who do not represent that Yeshiva's Hakafah, without further
elucidation, that story hardly qualifies as a proof of the Lakewood
Community's feelings toward non-Yeshivish people.

Mr. Wise also claims that an "acquaintance's son was ordered for
psychological evaluation for no particular reason."  He does not
indicate who did the ordering or if the lack of justification for the
evaluation was in the parent's opinion of a supplied justification or if
he was ordered for testing against the will of his parents without even
a hint as to what the reasons behind the request were.

The point is, I am not ready to accept Mr. Wise's premise about
Lakewood.  If he believes this to be true, the onus of proof is on him,
not on others to disprove his assertions; assertions which, according to
the evidence he supplies, hardly prove anything.

Chaim Shapiro


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 21:54:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Mem het lamed

     Re the dispute as to whether or not MH"L is a root: in addition to
the classic books--Ibn Janah and the others- Mandelkern's Concordance
and BDB -- Brown, Driver & Brigg's Lexicon of Biblical Hebrew (a
revision of Gesenius) -- does not list this root, the concluison being
that the word does not appear anywhere in the Tanakh.

     The Even Shoshan Hebrew Dictionary, which is considered one of the
better dictionaries, on the other hand, does list it as a distinct verb,
defining it as: 1) to forgive, atone, remove sin; 2) to forego, forgive
a debt, to refrain from demanding or suing for that to which one is
entitled.  The examples given are all Rabbinic or later (Berakhot 5b,
Taanit 20b, Mishnah Bava Kamma 9.7, Kiddushin 32a, and the Vidui for Yom
Kippur). Even Shoshan does not mention any connection to HL"L.

     Kol tuv,
    Yehonatan Chipman


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 06:49:31 +0000
Subject: TV News (was Internet Ban)

on 26/11/05 11:33 pm, Ruth Sternglantz <hiraeth613@...> wrote:

> While there may be an attempt to construct non-compliance with the
> internet ban as parallel to the television ban (e.g., the tv in the
> parents' bedroom that they only use to watch the news) ...

Has it never occurred to anyone that the news is probably the most
corrupting thing on television. Before anyone reacts to my 'bigotry' let
me explain. Most violent films are recognised as fiction by adults and,
to some extent, discounted (children's perceptions are, of course, a
separate issue) whereas the news is accepted by most people as fact
despite the way it is often 'cut and pasted' to produce the desired
impression on the viewer. What do others on mail-jewish think?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 50 Issue 24